Weekly Health and Fitness Blogs

Training Your Core

By: Heather D'Errico

Seems everything these days is all about training your core. Everyone wants to work their "abs" more than anything else. A stable core is certainly important but it seems people are confused about how to train their core as the go-to is usually some form of thousands of crunches.

A six pack is the result of a toned rectus abdominis. But there are actually more abdominal muscles deep to rectus abdominis that are far more important as they play a role in creating and resisting rotation to support the spine. In addition, to have a strong core you need strong and stable hips to support the trunk- thus why an exercise like squats is increasing core strength more than you know.

Here is a list of the best ways to train to truly train your core instead of doing crunches:

1. Deep Belly Breathing
Because you have to learn how to close your rib cage down and really use your diaphragm to get core activation
2. Lift Heavy
Squat heavy, deadlift heavy, bench press heavy, etc... heavy resistance training is impossible to do without
engaging your core!
3. Anti-Rotation Presses (ie. Paloff Press)
4. Any Plank variation being held for breaths instead of seconds and truly bracing
5. Roll Outs
6. Deadbugs
7. Bird Dogs
8. Carry Variations (Farmers Carries, Suitcase Carries, Overhead Carries)
9. Ball Slams, Rope Slams, really anything requiring significant power output
10. Bear Crawls

Try those and I guarantee you'll never go back to crunches again!

Why Bowlers Need Structured Programming

By: Heather D'Errico

For my first blog post I'd like to share why I got started with programs for bowlers in the first place. When I was in high school and college I had great fundamentals in my game but I always had slower ball speed and was very robotic with my mechanics. Some would call this "old school" styled bowling and there is nothing wrong with that. But for me, I wanted to be one of the best and I got real tired of everyone saying I'd be really good if I just threw it faster.

So I joined track and field. I wasn't really good at any events and didn't care to be at meets but I really enjoyed working out and thought that getting stronger would make me a better bowler. I wasn't wrong, but I definitely was not educated on the right things to help me.

I decided to study fitness and health in college with a goal of being a personal trainer. Throughout college as I was learning I started to get into resistance training, circuit training, and basically a lot of boot camp style workouts. I felt like I was really fit but I was just touching the surface of strength training.

As I pursued a Master's degree in Kinesiology I dove deeper into the physiology of exercise and how different energy systems can be challenged with different workouts. I became more intrigued by this and wondered how does this apply to bowling? While studying to be a certified strength and conditioning coach I learned how to make workouts sport specific for athletes and that's when things really began to click.

The more I programmed for athletes of other sports the more I understood how certain exercises can translate into power, speed, acceleration, and better force production. As I continued putting programs together for other athletes I wondered what a program for a bowler would look like...and began creating, experimenting, and implementing.

Bowling is sport, don't let anyone tell you different. Elite bowlers are throwing a 15 or 16 pound ball down a lane repetitively and have to be incredibly accurate most of the time to be successful. The torque created by the body and stability needed for consistency is undeniable especially to anyone who has actually competed at a high level. Therefore the training for the sport should be designed to meet the demands, prevent injuries, and improve performance. Just like with any other sport careful time and consideration should be spent on creating a program for a bowler with serious goals for their game. This means a structured training plan, that covers all the movement patterns for functional movement, includes exercises to prevent the common injuries, and exercises that can help improve ball speed, stability at the line, leverage, consistency, etc. An actual program with goals, not just a workout.

So I imagined this website where I could provide bowlers with information on exercises to make them truly more athletic for this sport... and save them the time and torture of all the various other fitness programs out there that may be more harmful and counter productive to their goals. So I hope if you find the blogs and information helpful for your game!